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Augsburg Faculty Awarded Fulbrights in Ireland and Slovenia

George Dierberger headshot
George Dierberger
Joseph Erickson Headshot
Joseph Erickson

Augsburg faculty members George Dierberger and Joseph Erickson have been named Fulbright Scholars for the 2022–23 academic year. Each year, the Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board select roughly 800 U.S. citizens to receive the Fulbright Scholar award for international travel, study, and teaching.

A competitive Fulbright application requires strong academic merit, demonstrated leadership potential, and a good match between an applicant’s strengths and a host institution’s needs. But for both of Augsburg’s faculty recipients, there’s a personal connection that makes receiving the Fulbright particularly rewarding this year.

Dierberger, an associate professor of business administration who also directs Augsburg’s MBA program, is mindful of family history as he prepares to spend three months in residence at the Atlantic Technological University in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. While this will be his first trip to Ireland, his great-great-grandfather hailed from County Cork. During the fall semester, Dierberger will develop case studies, lecture on innovation, help to build out a curricular focus on entrepreneurship, and partner with the Letterkenny business community to create an advisory council and internship opportunities.

Erickson, a professor of education and a psychologist by training, first visited Slovenia in 1994 through connections made by former Augsburg colleague Magda Paleczny-Zapp. Several of the graduate students tasked with assisting the Erickson family during that trip are now faculty themselves—including a department chair at the University of Ljubljana. Erickson will spend the spring collaborating with a team in Ljubljana to adapt a tool used to measure racial attitudes in the U.S. for the Slovenian context. He and his colleagues will shape the new scale around nationalism, a key issue for a society at the crossroads of western and eastern Europe and a way station for refugee migration.

In addition to these faculty awards, Augsburg was recently named a top producer of Fulbright students among U.S master’s institutions, with three students receiving scholarships to teach English abroad in 2021–22.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. For over 75 years, the program has provided more than 400,000 participants with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world. ​​Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 40 who have served as a head of state or government. Learn more about the Fulbright Program here.

Experiencing the world: Engage with a community as a Fulbright Scholar

fulbright_spanierLiving and working abroad can be a life-changing experience that reveals new opportunities and enlightens your perspective through engagement with new people and places. For Adam Spanier ’12, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program provided the challenges and delights of living in a different part of the world.

In the last year, three Auggie alumni have been working abroad through the Fulbright program. One taught English in Ecuador, another is conducting research in Norway, and Spanier is an ETA in Uničov, Czech Republic. He is one of 12 Augsburg alumni who have been awarded Fulbright grants, and Augsburg College is recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars. Continue reading “Experiencing the world: Engage with a community as a Fulbright Scholar”

Another Fulbright Scholar heads to Germany

oliver_fulbrightJennifer Oliver, a Master of Arts in Education student, is one of Augsburg’s newest Fulbright Scholars. This September, Oliver will travel to Darmstadt, Germany and will teach English there for nine months. She is one of more than 1,600 U.S. students traveling abroad in the 2011-12 academic year through the Fulbright program.

A 2007 Augsburg graduate who studied English, art history, and German, Oliver has worked as a staff member at Augsburg but has wanted to explore a career teaching or advising students. “I think I have known for a really long time that education was going to be my path, I just didn’t really know in what capacity.” Continue reading “Another Fulbright Scholar heads to Germany”

Emma Sutton checks in from Indonesia

sutton_checkinWow! I wish I could say that 3 days in everything has been perfect but unfortunately we just experienced an earthquake, a whopping 7.4. I was sitting up in my room on the 7th floor as the building started to shake and the walls cracked. I ran out into the hall and the program director was staying in the room right next to me and we took shelter in a doorway of the hall until it was over and then we ran down the stairwell, there was some girl flopping down the stairs in stiletto heels that I really wanted to run over so I could go faster. There was no major damage at the hotel or anywhere else, or at least it hasn’t been reported yet. Continue reading “Emma Sutton checks in from Indonesia”

Fulbright Scholar will teach in Indonesia

fulbright_suttonEmma Sutton ’09 always wanted to know more about people who were different from her neighbors. Growing up in a Caucasian, Irish Catholic neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, Sutton said she never had contact with people from other races. But her mother, a Chicago police officer, did.

“My mother is very opinionated,” she said. “so I was automatically driven to investigate for myself if the things she said were true.”

And investigate she did. Sutton’s quest to learn about others eventually brought her to Greece, Turkey, the British Virgin Islands, and to Tanzania. This August, she will begin a nine-month assistantship in Indonesia teaching English as a Fulbright Scholar. Continue reading “Fulbright Scholar will teach in Indonesia”